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(CTN News) – China has granted a patent on a new COVID-19 medicine, which is claimed to be able to dramatically slow the copying of the coronavirus that is causing the current pandemic.
Cepharanthine (CEP) is an extract of Stephania and has previously been used to treat other diseases. During the global outbreak of COVID-19, scientists found that the drug could also be used to treat the new disease.
“If there are 15,393 viruses without CEP, there will be only one with just 10 micromole of CEP per liter,” Tong Yigang, the first patentee, said. Therefore, a tiny amount of CEP can prevent the virus from spreading.”
According to Tong, CEP is one of the best inhibitors of COVID-19 known to humans.
When the outbreak started in January 2020, Tong’s team began searching for the best drug, and they published their findings about CEP in March 2020, a world first.
Similar findings were also published later by researchers from many other countries.
However, it might take longer for the drug to reach the market.
According to an account on zhihu.com, owned by Fan Huahao, the second patentee, the drug is an old one used for a new condition. “Companies are cautious, and we need government assistance.”
Fan said the team has limited resources to launch clinical trials.
The Canadian drug company PharmaDrug has been given permission by the FDA to conduct a clinical trial, which is expected to begin in the second half of 2022.